IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano

Friday, December 11th, 2015 12:02pm CST

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We have some more news on the - now confirmed - one-shot featuring the Transformers in the IDW Publishing Deviations series, thanks to Newsarama. Brandon Easton will be taking up writing duties, while Priscilla Tramontano will work out the art, and they've both been interviewed about the issue - find out more below, and read the full piece here.

In March, IDW Publishing is revisiting classic moments from it's most popular franchises in a series of thematic one-shots subtitled "Deviations," and for the Transformers it doesn't get any bigger than the original Transformers: The Movie. Transformers: Deviations revisits the classic G1 era to ask "what if Optimus Prime didn't die and was there to stand against Unicron?"

Transformers: Deviations is by writer Brandon Easton and veteran Transformers artist Priscilla Tramantano, and we spoke to them about this unique opportunity -- and oh yeah, we talk about that epic soundtrack as well.

Newsarama: Brandon, what is Transformers: Deviations about?

Brandon Easton: This is a spin on the extremely popular alternate universe concept seen in sci-fi stories and graphic novels for decades. The idea that we get to peek into a different continuity where events took a strange turn and a whole new reality is born is difficult to resist. In Transformers Deviations, we speculate on the one of the biggest moments in Transformers history – the death of Optimus Prime from the classic Transformers: The Movie (1986).

The story explores the events of the original Generation One Transformers timeline if Optimus Prime had not been critically injured by Megatron in their fateful battle in Autobot City. Anyone who knows the movie and the subsequent stories from the third season of the classic TV series knows that Optimus’ death was a central point in the saga and if he survives a wholly divergent and complex wall of dominoes tumble erratically. We get a universe that deviates from the original timeline in a very interesting way.

So in a nutshell, it’s “What if Optimus Prime survived?”

[...]

Nrama: Who are the characters that take center stage in this one?

Easton: Without ruining too much, I will say that Optimus, Hot Rod and Starscream get a lot of “screen time.” There’s a lot more I could say, but I’d rather have people check out the book when it hits the stores.

Tramontano: Grimlock is a favorite of mine and he plays a big part in the movie so it'll be cool to revisit that. But I'm looking forward to the Starscream coronation gag. It´s such an iconic scene, probably my favorite scene out of the 1986 movie, and I want to see how fans will react to this new spin Brandon gave to it!

Nrama: And is there anyone you wish you could have drawn but didn't?

Tramontano: Well, I love Galvatron but sadly he won't be in this.

[...]

Nrama: This is an interesting concept -- the idea of an alternate history. What does this offer for you two as a writer and artist respectively, and do you see potential for doing it more with Transformers?

Tramontano: As a fan, it's very common for us to play within established universe, drawing fan art, writing fanfics and so on. Imagining what could have been if something had happened differently is part of the fun. I like this idea a great deal. Now, as an artist, things get more complicated because you're dealing with something that people love with all their hearts and you have to be able to tell them you're not trying to replace the original material but just add a new version. I sincerely hope people are open-minded about this book and like the result. Reading Brandon's script, I know I did (as an artist and as a fan).

Easton: Alternate history stories are a sub-genre of speculative fiction and they’re great ways to explore socio-political concepts without alienating readers. I would point to the works of Harry Turtledove or Bryce Zabel to see some compelling takes on how different the world would be if a critical moment in history went in another direction.

Personally, as a writer of speculative fiction and a former U.S. History teacher, I adore alternate histories because they allow us to engage in a different kind of world-building exercise that forces us to work within grounded constraints while still pushing the boundaries of what is/was possible.


Transformers News: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano

Transformers News: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano

Credit(s): Newsarama


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Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747267)
Posted by o.supreme on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:13pm CST
bluecatcinema wrote:Things may actually have gone worse if Prime lived. Galvatron was stronger than Megatron, so he'd have the edge on OP in a straight fight (not to mention Optimus would have still been pretty banged up from the battle with Megatron). Galvatron could have torn right through him and taken the Matrix.


There would have been no Galvatron, because Prime would have killed Megatron. Sure Unicron could have resurrected him as he did the dead seekers and insecticons, but its doubtful the Autobots would have allowed Soundwave to collect Megatrons body if he was already dead, (since they would not have been rushing to Optimus' aid).

Still to your point, and my fanfic idea, things will probably go bad, but not for the reason you are thinking.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747273)
Posted by misfire19d on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:32pm CST
Maybe Unicron will create Hook, Line and Sinker in this timeline?
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747277)
Posted by Dr. Caelus on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:43pm CST
o.supreme wrote:Still to your point, and my fanfic idea, things will probably go bad, but not for the reason you are thinking.


Unicron comes to Earth, first, to take Prime et al. by surprise?

Or Unicron attacks Cybertron, and makes Shockwave his herald? Or worse... Bumblebee.



Plotting things out a bit (cause and effect) -

Galvatron wouldn't kill Starscream, which means no Immortal Spark/Ghost of Starscream. That has repercussions going all the way out to Beast Wars (e.g., Rampage would never exist).

There'd be no slave rebellion on Quintessa, and no grandiose trap involving Optimus's reanimated corpse, which wouldn't be brought back to Earth to spread the Hate Plague, and the Matrix wouldn't be emptied to stop the hate plague.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747280)
Posted by ScottyP on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:48pm CST
Sounds like a fun one-off piece, as long as it doesn't take itself too seriously (which it sounds like it doesn't.) Wouldn't mind seeing re-works to this scene put to bed after this though, given Autocracy also re-wrote it. Yeah, that's not the same continuity, but it still had 90%* of the movie's dialogue.

*Not an actual statistic.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747283)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 11th, 2015 @ 12:55pm CST
o.supreme wrote:
bluecatcinema wrote:Things may actually have gone worse if Prime lived. Galvatron was stronger than Megatron, so he'd have the edge on OP in a straight fight (not to mention Optimus would have still been pretty banged up from the battle with Megatron). Galvatron could have torn right through him and taken the Matrix.


There would have been no Galvatron, because Prime would have killed Megatron. Sure Unicron could have resurrected him as he did the dead seekers and insecticons, but its doubtful the Autobots would have allowed Soundwave to collect Megatrons body if he was already dead, (since they would not have been rushing to Optimus' aid).

Still to your point, and my fanfic idea, things will probably go bad, but not for the reason you are thinking.

Actually I think Optimus would let them take megs body away. You know prime being prime and letting his compassion get in the way.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747291)
Posted by bluecatcinema on December 11th, 2015 @ 1:21pm CST
Well, that Newsarama interview just made it a moot point. But it'll still be interesting to see where things go.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747292)
Posted by Megatron Wolf on December 11th, 2015 @ 1:31pm CST
Not a fan of IDW but i might have to check some of these out, sound pretty interesting.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747293)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 11th, 2015 @ 1:37pm CST
Ah I missed that bit...-_- well still, wonder how screamers coronation will go...and if it still gets gatecrashed
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747300)
Posted by DeadCaL on December 11th, 2015 @ 2:03pm CST
I know a few people who'll read this and not like it because it doesn't align with their head canon :lol:
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747311)
Posted by Supreme Convoy on December 11th, 2015 @ 2:52pm CST
Oh wow. This sounds like a good cool take. I'm a big fan of What If? and Elseworlds so I'll give it a shot.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747315)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on December 11th, 2015 @ 3:13pm CST
I think the only thing would have changed was that we wouldn't have gotten Rodimus Prime or season 3, otherwise everything stays the same. Prime still gets beat to hell in the fight with Megatron but doesn't die. Megatron still gets away and gets reformatted. Optimus recovers with the help from the Junkions after Galvatron blasts him and steals the Matrix. Unicron arrives, Optimus fights Galvatron and opens the Matrix, Prime throws Galvatron out, Unicron is defeated, the end scene from the movie is the same, except Optimus stands in the middle, and Hot Rod is not even around, or at most a bot in the background, because his only purpose was to become the new leader. So his character is totally pointless now, unless the story continues with Headmasters after the animated movie.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747323)
Posted by o.supreme on December 11th, 2015 @ 3:34pm CST
Rodimus Prime wrote:Megatron still gets away and gets reformatted.


That's the beauty of this "what if Story". Megatron dies, and is not taken away to be recreated by Unicron.

Tramontano: Well, I love Galvatron but sadly he won't be in this.


With Unicron's clairvoyance, knowing Optimus is still alive, he would have to develop a different plan before approaching Cybertron (remember he only begun his attack after Galvatron betrayed him, and in "his" mind, the Matrix had no bearer, so it would not be a threat)

Had Galvatron actually destroyed the Matrix, there is a good chance Unicron would have honored his agreement to spare Cybertron, and be on his merry universe-consuming way, and leave Galvatron to rule it (remember there was no Primus in the original cartoon). If he was like Galactus. However there would be just as good a chance that Unicron would have destroyed Cybertron anyway knowing that the only thing in the universe that could destroy him no longer existed.

However as stated, all this is moot since there will be no Galvatron, which makes the story possibilities all the more interesting.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747324)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on December 11th, 2015 @ 3:44pm CST
o.supreme wrote:
Rodimus Prime wrote:Megatron still gets away and gets reformatted.
That's the beauty of this "what if Story". Megatron dies, and is not taken away to be recreated by Unicron.
I was speaking on the general idea of Optimus not dying, and some of the possible things that could happen as a result.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747336)
Posted by Noideaforaname on December 11th, 2015 @ 5:09pm CST
I kinda wish it was a tad more original (and personally relevant to me) than the G1 movie... but dang it I love alternate histories so GIMMIE!!
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747367)
Posted by LOST Cybertronian on December 11th, 2015 @ 7:46pm CST
Colorist John Paul Bove sent us some artwork he recently worked on. You might recognize the 2 Transformers Deviations covers but presented here without the word balloons and other cover stuff. He also sent us artwork for the upcoming landmark Transformers #50. Check them out below.

John Paul Bove wrote:Recently revealed cover for Transformers Deviations. This is the uncropped version with delicious embers on display... Lines by Marcelo Matere, colours by me! — with Marcelo Matere.


Image

John Paul Bove wrote:A cover for TF Deviations in an animated movie style! Hot Rod, more like Hot Pink! Ton of fun doing the painted backgrounds and that satistfying bold shines and shadows.

Lines by Casey W. Coller and colours by me. — with Casey W. Coller.


Image

John Paul Bove wrote:Cover for the landmark Transformers #50 coming early next year! Lines by Casey W. Coller and colours by me. — with Casey W. Coller.


Image
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747373)
Posted by redconvoy on December 11th, 2015 @ 9:15pm CST
I hope in the deviation they have it that they realize Hot Rod is the Chose One and Optimus becomes his mentor instead. If they had Unicron and his minions target Hot Rod, it would draw them to that conclusion. XD
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747379)
Posted by SW's SilverHammer on December 11th, 2015 @ 9:50pm CST
Alright speculation time. I predict that in the elseworlds story, shit gets real bad with prime being alive, so bad that Prime has to go back in time and kill himself. Similar to the red Dwarf episode Tikka to Ride where after screwing up the timeline, JFK became the "second gunman" on the grassy knoll, and shot himself to restore his place in history. I predict Prime will go back in time, and be responsible for the mysterious red laser bolt (animation error) that killed Prime in the 86 movie.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747426)
Posted by ZeroWolf on December 12th, 2015 @ 3:33am CST
As much as I like that idea (indeed that episode of red dwarf is my favourite of season 7 next to the one where kryten goes crazy) I sadly can't see them doing that...as I can see them going more predictable then a twist that would annoy some
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1747440)
Posted by Sabrblade on December 12th, 2015 @ 6:40am CST
Not sure how I feel about Kup stopping Hot Rod.

I kinda envisioned my own alternate take on Hot Rod's interference scene that has Optimus living by having it so that, instead of Hot Rod jumping in to tackle Megatron before Megs could fire his gun at Prime, Hot Rod would jump in a second later than he did originally, allowing Megatron to shoot at Optimus, but with Hot Rod instead jumping into the line of fire and taking the shot meant for Prime.

Upon seeing Hot Rod take the shot and fall to the ground gravely injured, Prime would become enraged by Megatron and promptly beat him to a pulp, just as he did in the movie, leaving Megatron beaten and barely alive with Starscream ordering the Decepticons' retreat and Soundwave carrying away the fallen Megatron (who'd become Galvatron later).

Optimus would examine Hot Rod's unconscious body and swear to get him repaired, having been touched by Hot Rod's seemingly selfless act, never knowing the truth that Hot Rod wasn't really trying to take the shot meant for Prime, and instead had fumbled his attempt to tackle Megatron and be a hero, accidentally landing himself in the line of fire and thus feeling utter humiliation before blacking out.

The rest of the movie would play out with Optimus thinking highly of Hot Rod (after his being repaired), wanting to form a bond with the kid during the film's events (he'd go in the same shuttle as Hot Rod while Magnus would captain the other one), while Hot Rod would instead think of himself as having messed up his big hero moment like a fool, mistaking Optimus's being so nice to him as a way of teasing him for his fumble, and wanting nothing to do with Prime. The two would form a father-son type of bond that would eventually culminate in the two coming to terms with each other and Optimus personally passing the Matrix onto Hot Rod either during or following the film's climactic defeat of Unicron.
Re: IDW Deviations Transformers - Interview with Brandon Easton and Priscilla Tramontano (1748081)
Posted by Va'al on December 15th, 2015 @ 3:56am CST
And finally, from IDW Publishing, we have the official press release confirming the status, creative teams and general idea of the five-week Deviations project, and the one-shot featuring the Transformers - if Optimus Prime never died in the first place! Check it out below.

IDW Explores Alternate Timelines In ‘Deviations’!
The Five-Week Event Arrives In March


In a world where the Ghostbusters never crossed streams to save New York… In a world where Shredder was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ sensei… In a world where all your expectations are turned upside down—welcome to the world of Deviations, a weekly event series featuring alternate takes on some of IDW’s most popular books!

Starting with the Ghostbusters, readers will be taken to alternate realities of some of the most iconic heroes in comics with weekly one-shots that each highlight a different series. G.I. JOE will follow in the second week, exploring what would happen if COBRA finally won. The TRANSFORMERS comes next, looking at what the implications would be if OPTIMUS PRIME never died! Then, in X-Files Deviations, having been abducted by aliens, Fox Mulder never returned… and finally, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one-shot will round out the event.

“When one moment changes,” said Chris Ryall, IDW Editor in Chief, “whole universes alter forever. We’re asking the questions fans have been pondering for years—and now we’ll see some answers.”

Both new and familiar faces will make their mark on this warped series as newcomers to the titles join fan-favorite creators!

In Ghostbusters Deviations,
Kelly Thompson(Jem and the Holograms) teams up with artist Nelson Daniel (Judge Dredd).
Paul Allor returns to G.I. Joe, with artwork by Corey Lewis(Sharknife).
TRANSFORMERS Deviations welcomes Brandon Easton (Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven) alongside Transformers: Robots in Disguise artist Priscilla Tramontano.
Amy Chu (Sensation Comics: Wonder Woman) explores The X-Files alongside Elena Casagrande (Doctor Who) and Silvia Califano (The X-Files: Season 10) on art.
Finally Tom Waltz (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) leads Zach Howard (Wild Blue Yonder) into the sewers for the TMNT Deviations.

Look for all five Deviations in your comic shop and online every week in March!


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